minimalist

The reality of trying to declutter

I admit I embrace the notion of minimalism wholeheartedly. I have KonMari'd myself to a better underwear drawer. I hold to the William Morris tenant "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful". 

I'm here to reveal the dirty underbelly of de-cluttering. It creates an unholy mess! Unless you just chuck everything into the bin and say I'm done with it, you have to figure out what to do with all the stuff you have just cleared out of your beautiful closet. 

I've been doing minsgame on and off for the last year. It has really helped me clear out a ton of stuff. You commit to a month of clearing away and on day 1 you get rid of 1 item, day 2 you get rid of 2 all the way on to day 31 and 31 things. 

A few tips I've learned from The Minimalists and Marie Kondo

  • If it does not strike joy and you do not love it then get rid of it
  • If it was a gift and you do not like it or you do not like that person get rid of it
  • If it costs less then $20 and can easily be replaced then get rid of it
  • If you have not used it in over a year then let it go
  • If it is broken, out of date, ripped or torn and you will not use it or fix it then get rid of it. 

The next step, which is a little challenging is to figure out what to do with it. Here is a little flow chart that can help you decide if you are going to sell, donate or toss it. 

Decluttering can lead to a lot of fabulous things. For me it's made me reexamine and slow down on buying new stuff, it clears away a lot of my emotional clutter, and it has made me invest time into making my home feel clean and beautiful. 

If you still aren't sure where to start I help people clear away the clutter.  Drop me a line and I can help you develop a plan for clearing out your home.

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Depression fighting alternatives that don't involve going for a walk

I'm not sure which came first the clutter or the depression, but I do know that they are inextricably linked. The problem is when my depression kicks in daily tasks become challenging. Some days it is enough just to make it to work and home. Thankfully, not every day, but it does happen sometimes that I only have enough energy to come home, scramble some eggs for dinner and lay on the couch. 

It's frustrating because there is so much I want to be doing in my life and in my business, but I've learned that fighting those days is much more exhausting then just embracing my brain's need to check out for the day. 

I've found a few ways to keep the clutter at bay because once the clutter creeps in and becomes chaos then I don't want to do anything because the whole situation is just too overwhelming. 

Doing the #minsgame each month has been extremely helpful (I did take a few months off because of holidays and winter malaise). Clearing out the unnecessary and unwanted items decreases visual clutter and makes room for me to put things in their proper place. 

I've also tried to create 'getting home' systems. My keys, coat and bag go in the same place each day and I don't set the mail on the counter. It either gets taken care of immediately, or more likely it's junk mail and it gets recycled. 

A place for everything and everything in it's place makes it easier to put things away. When there is space for those items I feel capable of emptying the dishwasher and clearing up. If there isn't space and I start to pile things up then it just creates chaos in my cabinets and drawers and I don't feel like putting away the dishes or the laundry. 

It's ok to let things slide for a day or so. Don't beat yourself up if the house doesn't look perfect or guest worthy. That does not help at all when you are having a hard time. 

To summarize:

  • Embrace your version of minimalism. I wrote a post about finding my path to minimalism because it doesn't look the same for everyone. If you do need help decluttering or want to learn more about minimalism then join the Minimalism Challenge Support Group. You'll get the help you need. You can also follow me along on my decluttering adventures on Instagram.
  • Create a landing zone. Mine is tiny because I live in an apartment and I don't have an entryway, but I've still managed to find a place to put my everyday items. 
  • Make sure everything in your home has its own spot. If it doesn't, then you may need to think about getting rid of it! 
  • Wallow for a day. I find if I give myself permission to not have to adult that I usually chill out for a couple of hours and then find the energy to clean up. Sometimes, not always. Depression can be a fickle master. 

 

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